Some people dream of being a boss for themselves: flexible timetable, freedom of choosing a place to work in, no pressure from close colleagues, and so on and so forth. But many simply do not realize that working for yourself is a hard work since it requires a lot of will power and dedication.
So here are some expert tips that might be of an interest to you if you are a self-employed photographer or consider becoming one.
1. Create a good website with a daily blog
Your website is your major business card. Online portfolio is highly important since potential customers will consider hiring you mostly based on the quality of your work. Issue of a lack of content may be easily resolved by asking your friends for some help or new photo models who need portfolio pictures. Daily blog will keep your followers up to date as well as it will encourage you personally to enhance your portfolio.
2. The scarier, the better
If a client offers you a job that is outside of your comfort zone — go for it! It will challenge you personally in the first place, but will also give you invaluable experience in the second. Do not be afraid of accepting intriguing job offer only because you have never done it before. Food photographer being asked to shoot a wedding? Why not if it may bring you new skills, connections and diversification to your portfolio!
3. “What is your budget?”
This is a brilliant question to start negotiating the price as you avoid over- or underestimating your work. Let your client think and propose a price they are willing to pay. If you break down all the expenses taking into account the approximate budget, it will help you to come up with the best price possible. Sometimes, though, clients ask for additional work to be done and this is the case where you should not hesitate to ask for a reasonable extra pay.
4. Respond ASAP
Whether it is an email or a telephone call, be sure to respond as quickly as you can if it cannot be done straightaway. Be clear, concise and, obviously, friendly to make a first good impression which can be proved by your professionalism later.
5. Keep lists!
It will help you to stay organized and being organised should be the highest priority in any profession. Paper diaries and notebooks are out-of-date for number of reasons: they may be heavy to carry, or easily get wet or, even worse, lost… In order to avoid disappointments, make your lists online using any of numerous apps available today. You will be able to access from any of your portable electronic devices and get instant notifications if needed.
6. Separate work time from your free time
Be careful with your time on the Internet! We often find ourselves lost in all these eye-catching articles about “How to” and videos about cats. These are very time-consuming activity, which may distract you from your photography related work. Set specific times such as breakfast or lunch when you will allow yourself to surf the internet without feeling guilt.
7. Separate your work life from your personal life
Just do it.
8. Keep a consistent schedule
Schedule every day and stick to the plan. As there is no one to look after you, make sure you are a good reliable and responsible worker. Set times when you start your working day and when you finish it. Be stable and consistent in your work, and that will help you to grow as a professional.
9. Figure out where the jobs are supposed to come from (and go out and get them!)
It is actually a two-way process of finding a job: do not be a princess in a castle waiting for a miracle to happen. Just simply try approaching people and projects that you might contribute to and see what happens. You may try to ask bloggers for shoutout collaborations that will introduce you to their circle of followers. Also do not neglect to use your connections and remind people about yourself… because you never know.
10. Don’t over promise.
It is better if you do it earlier than later so always try to do your best and meet the set deadlines. It has a significant impact on your reputation, which consists of reliability and responsibility.
11. Choose the proper software
Editing software is not exclusive and everyone has access to these programs. Make a full use of them because it will save loads of your time. Programs like Lightroom are very handy and pretty simple in use, if you get the basic understanding of how it works. Continue to enhance your skills by online learning from websites, where you can find useful information regarding photography and other related stuff.
12. Join a team
It may take some time to figure it out that unfortunately (or fortunately, who knows) you cannot work on your own. That is why some people start considering getting a proper job in a photography agency rather than remain as a freelancer. Nowadays companies tend to have quite flexible conditions that may well suit you. However, if you are not ready to work in an office based environment and want to leave some freedom for yourself, Splento would be the best option for you.
Splento is a new startup that launched in London last year, but has already become the leading platform for hiring photographers. Its model is focused on quick, professional, affordable photography — like other services that a customer needs fast and cheap. Splento follows a similar model to Uber and other on-demand services, using contractors — rather than employees — to carry out its photography services. These contractors are free to pick their own hours and do it alongside their own photography jobs, but don’t have the same benefits regular employment offers. Fixed price is £49 per hour, be it for event photography, christening photography, portrait photography or even property photography.
Hopefully this blog post included all the necessary information you were looking for. Did we miss any tips? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.